There is a reason I love the magic of Christmas Eve…….anticipation. Even as a child, I would appreciated the build up of excitement. While Christmas Day was the main event, I have always felt a letdown after all the festivities were complete. Almost a “is that all there is” feeling. Yesterday was no exception.
Maybe it is because the boys are older and there is less surprise when purchasing items. Maybe it is because my illusions of a Norman Rockwell picture perfect holiday have dissipated. Maybe it is because everything seems so predictable. That is the reason I love the build up of the holidays. The preparation, the creative thinking of my purchases for those hard to buy young men that live with me, but most of all just kind of swimming in the feeling that the season brings. Long gone are my unrealistic expectations about the holidays. I don’t stress over entertaining. I keep everything simple. I maintain my self-care regiment that includes exercising, getting plenty of rest, and meditating. Most of all, I simply am mindful that everyone is doing the best the can. It is all about being flexible.
As the boys have aged, I have developed inventive ways to make the opening of presents more entertaining for my own enjoyment. This year instead of making Brian act out their gifts in an effort for them to guess what was in the boxes (he has many talents, but charades isn’t one of them), they were to share a gratitude before opening them. Bailey tried to list all of his with the first present thinking that would blanket the rest. He wasn’t delighted when I reminded him that it was one gratitude per gift. They do their best to humor me.
But, as the day neared its end and our guests left with their bellies full and hopefully, their hearts as well, the emotional residue of feeling letdown crept in like an unwelcome visitor. The realization that yet another holiday is complete. It isn’t sadness so much as it is disbelief that another year has made its rounds. The warp speed of time hinders my ability to be present if I allow it. So, as time dictates, we move forward. That letdown feeling will evaporate while I anticipate the end of 2017 and the start of a new year.